Body and Mind

New regional swimming courses available for active adults

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Royal Life Saving NSW short courses for seniors

Royal Life Saving NSW Active Adults campaign is proud to be delivering the NSW Government’s Connecting Seniors program, which provides opportunities for older Australians to take to the water and make the most of the health, fitness, social and safety benefits of structured water activities.

New programs have been released for Maitland, Bateman’s Bay and Central Coast as participants in Lake Macquarie enjoyed their final session on Thursday. NSW Minister for Seniors, the Hon. Jodie Harrison and MP for Hunter the Hon. Yasmin Catley are wrapping up the NSW Seniors Festival with a visit to the Royal Life Saving program.

The Lake Macquarie program is one of 10 short courses being delivered around the state, designed for over 65s with funding from the NSW Government’s Connecting Seniors program. The courses consist of three, one-hour sessions – a CPR demonstration and review of health factors to consider when exercising, an in-pool water-safety session, and a swimming or water activity such as aqua aerobics.

Royal Life Saving NSW Manager for Hunter, Tanya Brunckhorst, said as physical health and mobility limitations are contributing factors to 21 per cent of drownings in older adults, building strength and fitness through regular activity can play a major role in drowning prevention.

“Building your fitness and confidence around the water is as important as it was when you first learned to swim as a child, and we are calling all older adults to seek out new ways to become active adults.

“Last year, the leading contributing factors in drownings among Australians over 65 included low levels of fitness, trips or falls, lack of swimming and survival skills and underlying health conditions.  The 65 to 74 year age group is one of our most vulnerable populations, representing 30 per cent of those who drowned last year.

“Any regular, structured activity helps build fitness, improves your ability to manage in the water and offers fantastic social community benefits,” Ms Brunckhorst said.

Minister Harrison said participation rates show older Australians are highly motivated to stay connected with their communities however 60 per cent of over 65’s are under-active, reporting only four sessions of physical activity per week compared with 10 sessions per week for active adults.

“No matter your age or ability, there are plenty of opportunities to participate in an aquatic activity that suits you: swimming at your local pool, attending an aqua aerobics class, yoga or Tai chi by the lake, enjoying a walk along our inland and coastal waterways, kayaking or boating with friends and family.

“Local pools and aquatic centres are also fantastic social hubs for people to stay connected with their community.”

Beyond this month’s NSW Seniors’ Festival, we encourage people to seek out new challenges, support their local pool or aquatic centre and enjoy new ways to have fun, keep active and stay safe in, on and around the water.

Upcoming Connecting Seniors courses:

  • Maitland                4th April to 18th April
  • Tenterfield            24 March to 8 April
  • Gosford                May 7, 14, 21

For information on future courses and how to register visit

News and tips for Royal Life Saving Active Adults programs are available online.

as the leading organisation for drowning prevention for 130 years, Royal Life Saving Society programs such as Active Adults are tailored to provide people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds with access to regular, structured aquatic activities.


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